Family Research Council

Abortion: A Wound in America's Conscience

By Bob Morrison Senior Fellow for Policy Studies

We are a nation of idealists, yet today there is a wound in our national conscience. America will never be whole as long as the right to life granted by our Creator is denied to the unborn. For the rest of my time, I shall do what I can to see that this wound is one day healed.

President Ronald Reagan

State of the Union Address

February 4, 1986

The State of the Union Address is a serious and ceremonial occasion for this great republic. Many of the political leaders of the nation gather in the chamber of the House of Representatives to hear the President deliver his annual message. When Ronald Reagan spoke those words, he was the first president to place the plight of unborn children on the agenda of the nation's important business.

Reagan was careful in how he addressed this painful topic. He condemned no one. First Lady Nancy Reagan, his devoted wife, was well known to be pro-choice. She was seated in the Distinguished Visitors' Gallery of the House Chamber. The President was also aware of the pro-choice views of his two adult daughters and his son and namesake, Ron Reagan. Only Michael Reagan, an Evangelical Christian, publicly identified as pro-life.

Certainly Reagan did not choose to set a precedent by lecturing the Supreme Court.[1] Conscious of the solemnity of the moment that cold night in 1986, Reagan faced the members of the Supreme Court who had licensed abortion-on-demand. Instead of rebuking them, he had sent his Solicitor General, Rex Lee, up the marble steps of "that eminent tribunal" with an earnest plea to redress the injustice of Roe v. Wade.

Nor did the President criticize those Senators and Representatives assembled on that august occasion. Many of them had blocked passage of a Human Life Amendment and had tabled a Human Life Statute.

By this point in his presidency, midway through his second term, Reagan had signed into law five times the Hyde Amendment that banned federal funding for abortion.[2] He had also enunciated his Mexico City Doctrine. That policy pronouncement constituted a major shift in U.S. foreign aid. Delivered at the UN's 1984 Population Conference in Mexico's capital city, this Reagan Administration statement argued that human beings are the source of creativity and development and that henceforth no U.S. financial assistance would be given to any international organization that killed the unborn in an attempt to stifle population growth.

The sunny optimism about human life and potential reflected in President Reagan's Mexico City Doctrine echoed that of Founding Father Ben Franklin.[3] When Dr. Franklin witnessed the first manned balloon ascent at Versailles in 1783, someone asked him of what practical utility was it. "Of what practical utility," answered the most practical man in the world, "is a newborn child?"

Reagan had repeatedly issued Sanctity of Life Proclamations on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling (January 22nd). He addressed by telephone hookup the tens of thousands of demonstrators who braved, in some years, sub-Arctic cold to join in the annual March for Life.

This 1986 State of the Union Address marked one year since President Reagan hosted a White House premier of a movie, The Silent Scream. Reagan, the ex-movie actor, knew the power of film to move hearts. The Silent Scream was an ultra-sound record of an actual abortion of a 12-week unborn child.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson produced this shocking video. Nathanson had been a founding member of NARAL -- the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws -- and had superintended 60,000 abortions as a practitioner in New York. But increasingly, Bernard Nathanson had become troubled by images of the child in the womb and conscience-stricken by his own role in dealing death on such a vast scale.

The video clearly shows a lethal probe entering the sanctuary of the womb. Immediately, the tiny unborn child becomes aware of an alien presence. She moves away from the probe, seeking safety. But the probe pursues her. She throws up her hands as if to fend off the violent assault, and she emits what Nathanson called her "silent scream."

Then, in jerky motions, the unborn child is beheaded. And her little broken body disappears into the vacuum suction device.

President Reagan sent 535 copies of this video to Capitol Hill, one to every Member's office. There is no indication that any of those Members watched the video before taking a stance in favor of the act that had been covered by the homicide code of fifty states prior to Roe v. Wade in 1973.[4]

Employing the Bully Pulpit

But Reagan did not condemn. He pleaded. Reagan's advocacy for the right to life was consistently positive. In fact, he was the first national politician to pronounce himself not "anti-abortion," but pro-life. The media relentlessly had refused to employ this term when referring to defenders of the unborn. However, because Reagan was the president of the United States, they carried his addresses and his usage of the term "pro-life" to a national audience. Thus Reagan helped the phrase "pro-life" become a part of the national conversation.

We see here the power of what Theodore Roosevelt once called "the bully pulpit." As a veteran CBS News reporter once said, "We can't tell you what to think, but we can tell you what to think about." For over a decade, the mass media in the main wanted to suppress discussion of abortion. Or, if forced to confront the issue, it sought to do so only in liberal terms. In fact, journalistic style guides still proscribe use of the term "pro-life." Those who support the unlimited killing of unborn children are described by most mainstream journalists as supporters of "abortion rights." Those who believe human life should be protected from conception until natural death usually are called "abortion opponents" or "anti-abortion."

By speaking of his concern for unborn children, President Reagan forced the media to pay attention. He cast a spotlight where he, the elected leader of the nation, thought it should go.

As noted earlier, as a former actor he understood the power of political theater. He used the drama of his State of the Union Addresses with great effect. It was Reagan who first brought heroes as distinguished visitors into the House gallery to be recognized before the nation. The President used his 1982 State of the Union Message to recognize Lenny Skutnik for his heroism in jumping into the Potomac River following the crash of an Air Florida jet. Skutnik saved the life of a young woman survivor of the crash who was struggling against the strong current and freezing waters. Reagan had himself saved 77 lives as a young lifeguard on the Rock River in Illinois. Reagan was also a shrewd politician.

By saluting Skutnik, President Reagan not only created a new tradition for State of the Union Addresses, he also skillfully avoided a predictable buzz among the liberal journalists that would inevitably follow his daughter Patty's loud opposition to his policies (and her boycott of his speech). Honoring Lenny Skutnik, President Reagan underscored the great value Americans have always placed on the act of saving human life.

With Reagan, the State of the Union Address once again became a moment of high drama and of keen interest to the nation at large. Not since John F. Kennedy's stellar performances had the annual presidential addresses been so widely viewed.

Reagan, the self-described "citizen in politics," also knew that tens of millions of Americans would be watching and for many of them, the State of the Union Address was the only political event they would watch all year.

When he spoke of the right to life, he knew that millions of Democrats agreed with him about the importance of protecting the unborn. Shrewdly, Reagan made sure they knew their President was on their side.

Thus, we see a major reason for Reagan's broad appeal. Reagan had twice won the votes of nearly one in four Democrats while retaining the vast majority of Republicans. These voters were the key to his two landslide electoral victories. The phenomenon of the Reagan Democrats (like the earlier marvel of Eisenhower Democrats) mystified the press.

For more than a century, the State of the Union message was read by a House clerk, often in a droning and impersonal voice. President Thomas Jefferson had dispensed with delivering the message in person. Strict constructionist that he was, President Jefferson noted that the Constitution does not require a Chief Executive to address both Houses of Congress in person. Some critics in his day and since said it was because Jefferson was conscious of his deficiencies as a public orator. Mr. Jefferson offered his own reasons. He said such an address smacked too much of the Speech from the Throne delivered before the opening of Parliament in England. Jeffersonians wanted no aping of monarchist practice and so the messages were sent up to Capitol Hill in writing.

Woodrow Wilson was a superlative public speaker and he knew it. He revived the practice of personally delivering the State of the Union Address and so the tradition has been followed ever since. There is always a sense of anticipation in Washington when the White House announces the date of the State of the Union Address. And whatever the relations between Congress and the President, there is at least a show of comity and of dignity in the process of receiving an address from the nation's Chief Executive.

The Media and Abortion:

From the beginning, the national dialogue about abortion was subject to distraction and cloaked in deception. For example, the media misled Americans (and still deceives Americans) about the nature and extent of the abortion license. Most reports describing Roe stated then and repeat to this day that the Supreme Court "legalized abortion in the first three months of pregnancy." True, but misleading. On January 22, 1973, the Court also opened the door to abortion in the second three months and the third three months of pregnancy.

President Reagan's pro-life administration and his forthright remarks in his 1986 State of the Union Address cut through a media curtain. He ended the virtual blackout of national debate about this vitally important topic.

If the President of the United States -- especially one as beloved as Ronald Reagan -- thought this matter was important enough to raise in the most prestigious presidential address of the year, how could others wave it away?

That is not to say they don't continually try to wave it away. Even the coldly statistical method of reporting on abortions -- stock phrases like "1 point 2 million" abortions per year--lend an unreal sense of normality to this action. Communist dictator Josef Stalin, who ruled the USSR for nearly thirty years with an iron hand, once put it laconically: "A single death--tragedy. A million deaths -- statistic." He should know: he caused millions of deaths.

We may have heard the French phrase for the artistic technique of fooling the eye -- trompe l'oeil. There should be a corresponding term -- trompe l'oreille? -- for fooling the ear. That's what happens when we hear "one-point-two million abortions a year." We hear the number "1.2" and we recall that that is less than 2 and therefore the mind is prepared for a small number. One million two hundred thousand is a large number. And it should always be reported thus.

That annual loss of American lives would eclipse the entire population of any one of the following major cities (ranked by population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2013 estimates):[5]

10. San Jose, California 998,537
11. Austin, Texas 885,400
12. Indianapolis, Indiana 843,393
13. Jacksonville, Florida 842,583
14. San Francisco, California 837,442
15. Columbus, Ohio 822,553
16. Charlotte, North Carolina 792,862
17. Fort Worth, Texas 792,727
18. Detroit, Michigan 688,701
19. El Paso, Texas 674,433
20. Memphis, Tennessee 653,450

The thought of losing one of these famous American cities, year after year, is stunning. We have only to consider the trauma of 9/11 and the deaths, on one day, of some 2,400 Americans.

When journalists are forced to talk about abortion, they most frequently quiz pro-life politicians, pressing them to say whether or not they favor "overturning Roe v. Wade."

That is the way Gallup poses the question.[6] The media knows that public opinion polling shows that most Americans do not favor "overturning" this ruling. They may or may not be aware that the very framing of the question -- as an overturning -- is a fundamentally biased way to ask it.

For forty-two years, the media has misled the public about what Roe did, how many lives are lost annually due to Roe, and the inescapable fact that Roe was the overturning of fifty state laws that denominated abortion homicide. Willfully or not, the press employs American peoples' inherent conservatism to stymie any reform efforts.

Further, to "overturn"sounds radical, even dangerous. To illustrate this point, we should recall that James Madison and Alexander Hamilton issued a call from Annapolis in September 1786, for a constitutional convention to meet the following spring. Had these Founding Fathers summoned delegates to Philadelphia "to overturn" the Articles of Confederation, our Constitution would likely never have been framed.

We have argued instead for "correcting" Roe v. Wade. In fact, the Supreme Court itself, far from respecting this precedent as inviolable, has been engaged in correctives to abortion law since that fateful day in 1973.

In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), for example, the Court effectively jettisoned Justice Blackmun's unsustainable trimesterschemeand adopted instead an "undue burden" test for judging the constitutionality of state and federal protective laws on abortion.

Liberals have been trying to move beyond the abortion issue for forty years. Candidate Bill Clinton in 1992 had offered a unique and disarming formulation: Abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare."

No journalist followed up with the obvious question: If abortion is a fundamental human right -- as his administration would contend for eight years -- why should it be rare? Could Bill Clinton name any otherhuman right whose exercise should be rare?

Similarly, at a highly-publicized Civil Forum on the Presidency in 2008, Pastor Rick Warren asked candidate Barack Obama when the unborn child begins to come into possession of fundamental human rights. Senator Obama, unperturbed, replied, "The answer is above my pay grade." He begged the question.

He was soon to be promoted to the top pay grade in government. And since that point, his Administration's policies have presumed that a child never comes into full possession of his or her human rights, while still unborn.

Abortion and the Courts

The Framers of our Constitution said they were acting to secure the blessings of Liberty "for ourselves and our posterity." But in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court heedlessly stripped away centuries of protection for unborn children and thus permitted a homicidal assault on America's posterity. Since that infamous ruling, more than fifty-seven million Americans have been unjustly killed.

Here is a key portion of that ruling, crafted by Justice Harry Blackmun: "We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer."[7] (From the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade, January 22, 1973.)

Solomon of old was considered wise when he issued a royal edict to cut the baby in half. He knew that the real mother of the child in the dispute between rival claimants would instantly give way, preferring her child to live apart, rather than to see the child dismembered to settle an argument. That was Solomonic.

We infer from the Scriptures [1 Kings 3:16-18] that King Solomon never intended his order to be executed, nor the innocent child's life to be forfeited.

Yet we have in the above passage from Roe what passes among many of our educated elites for wisdom. Senate Chairman Arlen Specter was a constitutional scholar who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee. He referred to Roe not merely as a judicial precedent, but as a "super precedent." Others have called it "settled law." But Richard Neuhaus, a leading public intellectual, was closer to the truth when he said there had been no more unsettling law in our history.

Happily, not all American legal experts embraced the lethal legacy of Roe v. Wade. John Hart Ely, a professor of constitutional law at Yale University. Even though he supported legal abortion, he denounced the Roe v. Wade ruling in scathing terms. In his book, The Wages of Crying Wolf, Ely wrote: "[Roe] is bad constitutional law, or rather [it is bad because] it is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be."[8]

He said, further, that "What is frightening about Roe is that this super-protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers' thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation's governmental structure."[9]

In attempting to show that unborn children were not regarded as "persons" within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, Harry Blackmun clumsily detailed the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and argued that these clearly did not apply to the unborn.

Professor Ely noted that the rights so guaranteed were clearly meant to be exercised by adults but that hardly excluded children from the ranks of persons protected under the Constitution. No one, apparently, pointed out to the confused Mr. Justice Blackmun that simply because we do not let infants keep and bear arms, that does not mean they forfeit their rights as persons under the law.

Another legal expert, Archibald Cox, was a professor of constitutional law at Harvard. Cox served as U.S. Solicitor General under President Kennedy. National Review publisher Jack Fowler, in a retrospective on Cox's life, quotes him about the tortured reasoning of Harry Blackmun, a Nixon appointee.[10]

[The Roe v. Wade ruling] fails even to consider...the most important compelling interest of the State in prohibiting abortion: the interest in maintaining that respect for the paramount sanctity of human life which has always been at the centre of Western civilization, not merely by guarding life itself, however defined, but by safeguarding the penumbra, whether at the beginning, through some overwhelming disability of mind or body, or at death.

Fowler further cites Cox:

The failure to confront the issue in principled terms leaves the opinion to read like a set of hospital rules and regulations, whose validity is good enough this week but will be destroyed with new statistics upon the medical risks of child-birth and abortion or new advances in providing for the separate existence of a foetus. . . . Neither historian, nor layman, nor lawyer will be persuaded that all the prescriptions of Justice Blackmun are part of the Constitution.[11]

More recently, another supporter of liberal abortion, Kermit Roosevelt, noted the "shaky basis" for Roe v. Wade in a 2003 op-ed for the Washington Post:

No opinion with such deficiencies could be expected to provide a sound basis for resolution of a hotly contested social issue, and indeed, Roe has aged poorly. The current Supreme Court has all but explicitly discarded the constitutional methodology on which it rests. The idea that unelected judges should consult their inner oracles to decide whether a particular activity unmentioned in the Constitution deserves to be elevated to the pantheon of "fundamental rights" was always problematic...

The fact that there are constitutional arguments in favor of not overruling Roe doesn't mean the opinion should be celebrated, at least not as anything other than a historical artifact. Roe is an increasingly creaky anachronism, and anyone who cares about a woman's right to choose should seek a sounder constitutional basis for that right.[12]

Professor Ely also noted that denying the personhood of unborn children does not logically mean that killing them cannot be prohibited by law.[13] As the Supreme Court was pondering Roe, it was also considering whether to grant legal personhood to national parks, forests, and mountain ranges.[14]

Abortion and our "Sacred Union"

Our first President, George Washington, thought of our "more perfect union" as "a Sacred Union of Citizens." He spoke often of meeting the hopes "of millions yet unborn." He was persuaded by Congressman James Madison to take out of his First Inaugural Address a paragraph in which he noted that Heaven had not blessed him with children of his own body. Even this misfortune, he thought, was a national blessing. He sought to show that he had no ambition to build a family fortune on the ruins of his country's liberty.

By implication, Madison also showed how Washington could be trusted to be Father to all Americans. He, too, had an exalted view of the Union. When, during the ratification debates in New York, the anti-Federalists sought to ratify the Constitution with conditions -- and to reserve the right to secede from the Union if unsatisfied by amendments that may be offered to the new Constitution -- Madison's response was firm and direct: If New York ratifies the Constitution, she must ratify "unconditionally and forever."

The mind of the Founders' generation can be seen in the thought of the great Irish parliamentarian and philosopher, Edmund Burke. This great friend of American liberty, aptly described all society as a compact between the living, the dead and the yet unborn. These keen insights help us to understand how in 1973, the Supreme Court's diktät in Roe threatened to dissolve our Union.

The Founders believed in a "sacred union." It was a Union of States, to be sure, but more important, what made it sacred, in George Washington's mind, was the union of citizens -- of Americans. By severing the ties between generations, we dissolve our sacred union.

In his new biography of Abraham Lincoln, The Founders' Son, historian Richard Brookhiser shows how Lincoln psychologically and spiritually identified himself as an heir to the Founders' legacy of Liberty and Union. Lincoln's friend, Alexander H. Stevens, who would go on to serve as Vice President of the Confederacy, recalled that for Lincoln, the Union had a mystic quality and his attachment to it was as strong as what, for other men, would be their ties to their religion.

Lincoln told a Hartford audience in 1860 that the nation had failed to appreciate the importance of the slavery issue:

I think one great mistake is made by them all. I think our wisest men have made this mistake: They underrate its importance, and a settlement can never be effected until its magnitude is properly estimated. Now what is the difficulty? One sixth of the population of the United States is slave. One man of every six, one woman of every six, is a slave. Those who own them look upon them as property and nothing else.[15]

Today we regard the 1860 view of fellow human beings as "property and nothing else" as barbarous. And we should. But when we resort to buying and selling embryonic children whose bodies have been frozen for later "use," we treat them as property and nothing else.

The Obama Administration has tried to sweep away all safeguards for human life prior to birth. Saying he will be guided by "science" and not "ideology," President Obama once again seeks to treat unborn human beings as objects, subject to being dismembered, used, abused, and killed so long as there are claimants who can demand what experiments on their bodies may yield.

If the embryonic child is not a human being, why else would its stem cells be so avidly sought?

Lincoln never spoke to the question of abortion. Nor can we properly conscript the Great Emancipator to our side in this debate. But he did make a telling point when he described the Founders' "enlightened" view of human kind: "Nothing stamped in the divine image was sent into the world to be trod upon and imbruted." We are entitled to ask President Obama and all those who promote abortion-on-demand if they share this understanding.

Falsehood as His Principle

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was one of the first Russian writers to predict a collapse of the USSR, that "empire built on bones." His Nobel Lecture spelled out the intimate connection between lying and violence: "Any man who has once acclaimed violence as his METHOD must inexorably choose falsehood as his PRINCIPLE."[16]

The record of the Obama Administration abounds in falsehood as its principle. In pressing for passage of his signature piece of legislation, the takeover of one-sixth of the U.S. economy in the Orwellian-titled Affordable Care Act. This measure is also known as Obamacare. President Obama said taxpayers would not be forced to pay for abortions.

He assured hesitant pro-life Democrats in the House: There is "a tradition in this town [Washington, D.C.] of not paying for abortion."[17] Of course, is was not a tradition but a law -- the Hyde Amendment -- that had prohibited federal funding for the killing of unborn children since 1977.

In offering "tradition" as his rationale for issuing a spurious Executive Order, he carefully omitted the fact that he was on record opposing the Hyde Amendment at every stage in his career. He had named as his top official in the Department of Health and Human Services, an official whom some have called the most pro-abortion Governor in the nation's history.[18] Would the selection of Kathleen Sebelius have been remotely consistent with running a program that did not pay for killing the unborn?

Barack Obama had, of course, been elected on a tide of "Hope and Change." Had he promised not to disturb "tradition in this town," he would hardly have had the appeal he had. He offered himself as one who would "fundamentally transform this nation."

Offering those skittish Democratic congressmen and women an Executive Order to allay their concerns about being forced to vote for a Senate-passed bill (that included abortion funding) was another exercise in deception. Of course, an Executive Order cannot trump a federal statute. Those Democratic Representatives could not have wanted to serve in a legislature whose enactments could be overturned by executive fiat.

The classic Sherlock Holmes story, "Silver Blaze," provides another piece of circumstantial evidence to show that Obamacare does provide for abortion:

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"

Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."

Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-tim e."

Holmes: "That [emphasis added] was the curious incident."[19]

The Planned Parenthood dog didn't bark! Not only did the leaders of this outfit--that kills a thousand unborn children every day--not object to the passage of Obamacare, nor to the President's issuance of a bogus Executive Order purported to prevent abortion funding; they continued to lavish praise on the President, tout his health care initiative, and their political action arm spent huge sums in 2012 to secure his re-election.

None of this would have been likely had President Obama truly spared Americans from subsidizing the killing of unborn children with their tax dollars.

A Nation Wounded, a Country Adrift

Abraham Lincoln hated no one, but he did hate something. He was responding to Illinois' Democratic U.S. Senator's declared indifference to the extension of slavery into the territories. Douglas was "pro-choice" about extending human bondage. "I don't care whether slavery is voted up or down," he said repeatedly.

Lincoln said: "This declared indifference, but as I must think, covert real zeal for the spread of slavery, I cannot but hate. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world...and especially... [for] insisting there is no principle of action but self-interest."[20]

Lincoln surely knew, although he never publicly charged Douglas with this, that the Illinois senator owned slaves on a Mississippi plantation and personally profited from them.

President Obama's record in Illinois and in the White House is, in principle, closer to that of Stephen A. Douglas than to the principles of Abraham Lincoln, the man with whom he seeks so often to identify in public life. To be "pro-choice" is to declare one's indifference to the choice of life or death for others.

If violence against the unborn and falsehood about that violence have created a "wound in America's conscience;" these practices have also cast us adrift.

Charles Rubin, in his important work, The Eclipse of Man: Human Extinction and the Meaning of Progress, points to the hazards of recreating humankind. Such efforts are fully underway in work approved in labs and for which this administration seeks federal funding. "Three-parent embryos" are but one in a long list of fabricated humans and half-human chimeras being willfully deprived human rights and human relations. Rubin warns:

Human beings, unlike other animals, can make deliberate choices to change what it means to be human. It may be that now we are seeing the beginnings of a real choice about being human at all. In attempting to confront the "grand vision" of the eclipse of man as such, we have seen how its advocates have made arguments against our humanity based on a painfully thin understanding of what it means to be human, and made promises that will lead to the demise of the goods sought even as they are fulfilled. Their project [of recasting human life] is neither as inevitable nor as rational as they would like us to believe, and they are therefore not excluded from defending it on the moral grounds implicit in calling it progress: that it will actually create a better world.[21]

Or, more pointedly, do these advocates of using some human beings for the benefit of others merely invite us to join their Brave New World?[22] We must choose another course, a higher path. In 1858, Abraham Lincoln argued against the Dred Scott ruling of the Supreme Court. That 1857 ruling denied the civil rights and human dignity of millions of Americans, all those who were black. "The black man has no rights which the white man is bound to respect," wrote Chief Justice Roger B. Taney in his 7-2 majority opinion.[23]

Lincoln challenged that ruling. He said it contradicted the Founders' "enlightened" vision. They believed and acted upon the belief that "nothing stamped in the divine image was sent into the world to be trod upon."

Recognizing that Lincoln was speaking in a different time to a different question, we nonetheless can affirm his commitment to human rights and human dignity when we ask: "Are not unborn children so stamped?"

Robert G. Morrison is Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at Family Research Council. He is a former teacher of American history at the high school and college levels. He served in the U.S. Department of Education and as the Washington representative of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod.


[1] This precedent was left to President Obama to criticize the Justices as they attended his 2010 State of the Union Address.

[2] President Jimmy Carter (D) had first signed the Hyde Amendment into law in 1977. It had been passed overwhelmingly by a Democratic Congress.

[3] "No. 2192: Franklin and Balloons," Engines of our Ingenuity, accessed December 11, 2014, http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi2192.htm.

[4] For a discussion of the legal status of the life of the unborn today, see Paul Benjamin Linton, "The Legal Status of the Unborn Child under State Law," St. Thomas Journal of Law & Public Policy 6, no. 1 (2011): 141-155, accessed February 4, 2015, https://www.thomasmoresociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/PDF-VERSION-OF-PBL-ARTICLE.pdf.

[5] "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places of 50,000 or More, Ranked by July 1, 2013 Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013 - United States -- Places of 50,000+ Population more information 2013 Population Estimates," U.S. Census Bureau, accessed January 29, 2015, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk.

[6] "Majority of Americans Still Support Roe v. Wade [sic] Decision," Gallup.com, January 12, 2013, http://www.gallup.com/poll/160058/majority-americans-support-roe-wade-decision.aspx.

[7] "Roe v. Wade," Legal Information Institute, Cornell University Law School, accessed January 13, 2015, http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/410/113.

[8] John Hart Ely, "The Wages of Crying Wolf: A Comment on Roe v. Wade*," "Reprinted by permission of The Yale Law Journal Company and William S. Hein Company from The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 82, pages 920-949.," accessed February 3, 2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20061013115739/http://www.timothypcarney.com/wages-wolf.htm.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Interestingly, Cox was fired as Special Prosecutor by Robert Bork, acting under orders from President Nixon. Cox had been investigating Watergate.

[11] Jack Fowler, "Archibald Cox and Roe [sic]," National Review, May 31, 2004, accessed December 17, 2014, http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/80331/archibald-cox-and-roe/jack-fowler.

[12] Kermit Roosevelt, "Shaky Basis for a Constitutional 'Right'," Washington Post, January 22, 2003, accessed December 17, 2014, http://web.archive.org/web/20060512043712/http://www.politicalposts.com/news/index.asp?id=165865.

[13] This writer spent a year in the Bering Sea with the U.S. Coast Guard in 1978. Among our other duties was enforcement of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. That valid law prohibited American or foreign fishermen from taking and killing whales, porpoises, walruses, seals, manatees, sea otters, dugongs, and sea lions. No one has ever claimed that the laws preventing killing of these protected species are unconstitutional because they are not persons.

[14] See Mr. Justice Douglas' opinion in Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 (1972).

[15] "Speech at Hartford, Connecticut," Collected Words of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 4, March 5, 1860, accessed February 3, 2015, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/lincoln4/1:2.1?rgn=div2;view=fulltext.

[16] "The Nobel Prize in Literature 1970, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn," The Official Web Site of the Nobel Prize, accessed February 3, 2015, http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1970/solzhenitsyn-lecture.html.

[17] Gerald F. Seib, "Political Wisdom: Lieberman in the Cross Hairs," The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2009, accessed February 3, 2015, http://www.wsj.com/articles/BL-WB-14357.

[18] Charmaine Yoest, "Gov. Sebelius is Pro-Abortion and Unfit to Serve HHS," AUL Action, The Legislative Action Arm of Americans United for Life, April 16, 2009, accessed February 3, 2015, http://aulaction.org/2009/04/gov-sebelius-is-pro-abortion-and-unfit-to-serve-hhs/.

[19] Silver Blaze Quotes, Goodreads.com, accessed February 3, 2015, http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/6405607-sherlock-holmes-silver-blaze.

[20] "Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas 1897." Bartleby.com, accessed February 3, 2015, http://www.bartleby.com/251/pages/page137.html.

[21] Charles T. Rubin, Eclipse of Man: Human Extinction and the Meaning of Progress (New York: New Atlantis Books, 2014), 182.

[22] Brave New World by Aldous Huxley offered a vision of a world where human beings were fabricated, not begotten, and viewed as commodities. Freedom and dignity could not survive in such a brave new world.

[23] Roger B. Taney, The Dred Scott Decision, 1857, Digital History, accessed February 3, 2015, http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=3&psid=293.

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